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How to mess up a teenager
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P I Z Z A T H U R S DAYS & FRIDAYS Every Thursday and Friday from 5pm we turn the lights down to create an intimate and beautiful restaurant serving pizzas, side dishes and desserts. Children are welcome until 7pm and we serve until late. BYOB with corkage. Vegan and wheat free options available. Call for takeaways and bookings. Also open Tuesday to Friday 8:45am–5pm* *Pizza nights open later Saturdays & Sundays 10am–5pm Available for private hire
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Fix up. Look sharp. With the dark evenings of the season, we thought we’d brighten things up a little bit with a refresh thanks to Rather Nice Design. As a magazine ‘For People Who Happen to be Parents’, The Little Things isn’t just about the kids, it’s about the adults as well. We wanted to reflect that on our cover and throughout our features. In this issue we explore anxiety in children, why judging others is so detrimental to your well-being and attempt to make your mornings a little less frantic with five quick and easy breakfasts. As always, the magazine is a starting point for discussion and a place for ideas, rather than a handbook. You won't agree with all of it and you shouldn’t.
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All About ‘The Feels’ Recognising emotions with The Psychology Mum
Anxious Little Ones How to help when it’s all topsy-turvy
The Lazy Parent's Guide Science capital and the joy of board games
Follow us on social media! Better yet, send us an email or say ‘hello’ in person – we actually like people.
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Kate Farrar, Dr Emma Hepburn, Laura Hilton, Suzy Howlett, Kim McCabe, Dr Veronica Roberts, Dr Andrew Ross, Helen Ross, Travelling Light Theatre Group, Ellie Summers, Louise Worsley
Art Attack Travelling Light Theatre Group on the importance of art for the family.
How to Mess Up A Teenager Turns out, it’s not that difficult according to author Kim McCabe
Video Game Age Ratings Do you know what the age ratings mean?
Quick and Easy Breakfasts Saving your bacon in the early morning, pre-school chaos
Fit for a Queen And you thought getting your kids out of the house was tricky!
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… Dr Roberts on the dangers of judging others
© Rather Nice Design Limited 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without written consent. Rather Nice Design Limited (company number 10214533) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Rather Nice Design Limited is 12 Wallbridge Avenue, Frome, BA11 1RL. The Little Things Magazine has taken great care to ensure the content is accurate on the date of publication. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Little Things Magazine. Therefore, The Little Things Magazine carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in a good faith. The Little Things Magazine cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers.
First Aid for the Family Louise Worsley on what to do when a child is choking
Seeking Refuge Why are they here? How did they get here? What can we do?
Reclaiming Politics Why it’s all political
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Still searching for the right school for your child? At Springmead, we support each and every one of our children to achieve their full potential â€“ academically, socially and personally.
Why choose Springmead? Small class sizes with a maximum number of 18 children High staff to student ratio with 2 teaching staff per class Award-winning extra-curricular programme over 25 different clubs each week
Outstanding academic results with the majority of our children achieving above national average and a high proportion achieving significantly above national average in standardised national assessments Wrap-Around Care available from 8am to 6pm (including during School Holidays)
Small school | Big difference Call us on 01373 831555 or visit www.springmead.com to arrange a visit to find out what makes us so unique
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Mental health | Health
How am I feeling? Dr Emma Hepburn, The Psychology Mum, has some tips on how to support our kids (and our partners?) to understand themselves a little better.
ven as an adult it’s sometimes difficult to work out exactly how we are feeling and what is causing that feeling. If we find it hard, imagine how it must feel for our children. Learning to recognise and understand our emotions are important skills at any age – particularly in the lead up to any big holiday.
Help children understand emotions and the associated body feelings. Children don’t automatically know that, for example, their sore stomach is a sign they are anxious. Understanding what emotions are, how they affect our bodies and how they personally experience emotions can help emotions seem less scary and more manageable. As they
understand what is happening, they may also understand why. If they can recognise signs of emotions that in itself is a trigger that they can do something to help. There are lots of books and resources out there to help with this.
Dr Emma Hepburn is a clinical psychologist who works in the NHS. Emma has worked in a variety of areas including maternity, child mental health, brain injury and clinical health. She is a mental health advocate and posts as @thepsychologymum. First published in the NIPS booklet for their first Mental Health and Children seminar.
Help children recognise the early signs of emotions. I often use the emotions curve for this. What are the signs they are in the green, amber and red zone. What tells them they are starting to get angry/anxious/ whatever? What happens in their body? What do they do? Ideally they want to identify the emotions as early as possible as so they can intervene in the amber zone. It’s much easier to put strategies in place at this stage than in the red zone where the main focus is to help calm down.
Help them understand their emotion triggers. What made them feel that way? Why did it make them feel like this? You can talk about if there’s any way they could handle this situation (the trigger) differently next time.
Recommended reading Circus House publishing recommend the following books for exploring feelings. Often, sitting down together and reading is a good opportunity to start a conversation. Find more recommendations at circus-house.com
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Health | Mental health
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Mental health | Health
Former teacher, Suzy Howlett, explores the issue of anxiety in little ones and tells The Little Things about how we can support our kids when their world turns upside down.
elt stressed lately? When the washingmachine has leaked all over the floor, the wailing baby is arched into a rigid ‘I-won’t-be-strapped-into-mycar-seat’ shape, the car won’t start anyway, and your child announces over the din that they need a blue whale costume for today’s assembly right NOW, the feeling is more familiar than a piece of lightly browned toast setting off the smoke alarm (again). It is normal for children to feel stressed at times, too. Perhaps their favourite comfort toy has been lost, or they didn’t manage the five metre swimming test that their friends did. In fact, to some extent, stress is useful and necessary as it can help build resilience and equip children for dealing with life. But how do you know when levels become unhealthy? When do children need some help and support? There are various types of stress you might notice in your child, but this article is all about anxiety in younger children. Anxiety is the feeling of worry and loss of confidence we all
recognise, and it has been a hot potato in the press lately, with many teachers noticing that children are getting more anxious. SATs pressures, social media, friendship issues, self-image… we know the list is a long one for the over-nines, but very young children have real worries, too. According to NHS Moodzone (a sensible website offering advice to parents and carers) anxiety becomes a problem when it is not getting better, and is starting to affect everyday life and your child’s well-being. For example, it is common for children between about 8 months and 3 years to feel clingy and have something called ‘separation anxiety’; it is a normal part of development, and eases off between the ages of 2 and 3 (in the meantime, a transitional object – a fancy name for a favourite blanket, soft toy etc – can be helpful). A six-year-old who is too distressed to be left with a trusted and familiar babysitter for an hour, however, might have a level of anxiety which needs some extra support.
Why do younger children worry? Many children find change especially difficult – a new house or new school, for instance.
A distressing or traumatic experience such as a house fire, a burglary, or a car accident are likely to cause anxiety to all of us. But anxiety may build and persist in particularly prone children. Family arguments and conflict are common causes, and as children get older, a lot of anxiety is related to social issues and academic pressures. That is a whole article in itself (which I will come back to in the future – promise!). Some children just find quite small things make them anxious.
So, how can you help?
The good news is, there is plenty you can do. First, talk to your child about their worries. Show them you understand, and reassure them, without dismissing their worries. If your child is old enough, try explaining to them about anxiety and how it is something everyone feels. Talk about how it can make us feel unwell or miserable, and can build up, and then go away, a bit like a wave. Explain that you can help them to find a solution, so that they can feel better again. Then find out some more details, so that you can help sort out the ‘fixables’. If, for example, your child half wants to go on a sleepover but is too anxious, you can be understanding without suggesting that she had best stay at home. Ask her which bits about the sleepover are worrying her and try to come up with some solutions. If she is worried that she might not like the food on offer, explain that you can sort it out quietly beforehand between the grown-ups. If she is worried that she won’t sleep, talk about
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Health | Mental health
Signs of anxiety Some children are pretty good at talking about what is troubling them, but very young children often can’t explain just what they are feeling, and why. Look out for the signs. You might notice that they: Become irritable, tearful or clingy
Are not getting to sleep as well as usual, or wake often in the night Start wetting the bed Have bad dreams frequently (occasional ones are normal)
Slightly older children may: Lack confidence to try new things or face simple, everyday challenges
whether that will actually be so awful – she will just be a bit tired the next day, and will soon catch up, or she might find she sleeps more than she is expecting. If she is not happy to go to sleep without you saying goodnight, offer to lend her your phone and send a cheery goodnight text (though this could get maudlin, so handle with care. Some children are better with your scarf to cuddle, or a little ‘goodnight note’ to open). If she needs a few props to help her through, that’s fine. She might need fewer next time. If she is still much too anxious to give it a try, see if you can sort out a sleepover at your house first, or arrange a late night “duvet evening” at a friend’s house, where they stay up late in their pyjamas watching a film together, and sharing supper, but get collected just before bedtime. Talk about all the good things about sleepovers. What you are doing is showing her that being anxious about something doesn’t have to mean that she can’t do it.
More things you can do to help with all those worries Teach your child to recognise when they are very anxious, and to ask for help.
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Have problems sleeping or eating Have uncharacteristic angry outbursts Have negative thoughts going round and round in their head, or keep thinking that bad things are going to happen Start avoiding everyday activities like seeing friends or going to school Seem generally withdrawn
Stick to reassuring routines to help your child through a generally anxious time. Look for age-appropriate books or films that might help your child with something specific such as a bereavement. It can help them understand their feelings. You might like: The Invisible String (Patrice Karst), The Huge Bag of Worries (Virginia Ironside), but if you do a quick search, you will find lots of books to help with particular worries. Prepare your child in advance for a big change such as a house move, so that they have a chance to talk about it and ask you questions. Try not to become anxious yourself, or become too protective. Rather than avoiding all anxiety, teach your child to manage the anxieties which occur in their life. Do some simple relaxation exercises with your child. The NHS Moodcafe website has some really good ones, and they are very easy to learn.
You might also notice that your child is a little short of breath, feels sick, complains of stomach-ache, or appears physically tense. While these might be due to other causes (so check them out), they can also be symptoms of anxiety in children.
Use distraction at times when worry might be building up. If your child is anxious about the moment of separation when you arrive at nursery, make up a game to play on the way, such as seeing who can spot the most red cars or dogs. Some older children like to write down their worries and post them into a special box (you could decorate an old tissue box). At the end of the week you can look at and talk through the worries with them.
When should you get help?
If the anxiety persists, and really affects your child’s ability to enjoy everyday life, you could start by talking to your GP. It is a good idea to talk to your child’s teacher, too, as they may have noticed something specific, or have some good ideas which they can help with. There is a helpline run by Young Minds where parents and carers can get advice. It is free, and operates Monday to Friday, 9.30−4�00pm: 0808 802 5544. Look out for some ideas for older children in the next issue of The Little Things.
The lazy parent’s guide to good parenting CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY EDITION
Looking for things to keep the kids entertained over the holidays? Dr Andrew Ross, The Boss, suggests some ways to keep their minds active amidst the festivities. He even suggests that there may be a use for ice cubes that doesn’t involve cocktails. Yes! That made us laugh, too! It’s winter time and that means long dark nights and short cold days. It’s always hard at this time of the year to motivate children to do interesting and exciting things. Science though, is not limited to good weather; there are many things that we can do to keep the kids entertained on those cold, wet days. They’ll also give you a little time to yourself – it’s win / win! issuu.com/thelittlethingsmagazine | 9
Education | The lazy parents guide to good parenting
Pinecone experiment Pinecones are wonderful things that can be interesting to children. You may have already had the question about why they are sometimes open and sometimes closed. It happens because pinecones react to the moisture in the air. When it is warm and dry the pinecone opens to release its seeds, whereas when itâ€™s cold and wet, the pinecone closes. Children can find this out for themselves through a set of simple experiments that you can do at home.
All you need is: 3 bowls (or jars) Some pine cones Cold water Warm water
Simply place a pinecone into each bowl. Leave one as a control, add warm water to another and, cold water to the other. Watch each of the pinecones and record your observations. After about 10âˆ’20 minutes the pinecones in water should have completely closed, while the one open to the air will be still open. This sort of experiment can lead to all sorts of questions which you might be able to work together to search the internet for answers.
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The lazy parents guide to good parenting | Education
In the cold weather, we regularly see the road gritters out spreading salt on the surface of the roads. But why do they do that?
Melting ice experiments → It can be a simple answer – because the salt lowers the freezing point of water, so it has to be colder for water to freeze. Or, this can be a great start for an experiment for children. Why not set up investigation into what makes ice melt the fastest? Start by making some ice cubes and then turn them out. Add an ice cube to 3 different bowls or glasses. Add half a teaspoon of salt to one bowl (or glass), a desert spoon of salt to another and leave the final one as just an ice cube in the bowl. To see if salt, and the amount of it, makes a difference measure the time it takes each ice cube to melt. If you want to expand this experiment further, you can try things other than salt to melt the ice cubes such as sugar, warm water or cold water.
Ice cube tower
Ice cube magic trick
You can use the fact that salt melts ice to build an ice cube tower. Challenge children to build the tallest ice cube tower. If you have more than one child, why not make it a timed competition? Building the tower is simple: make lots of ice cubes and turn them out of their mould. Select one of the ice cubes and put a small pinch of salt onto the top of it. Stack another ice cube on top. Within a minute or so the ice cubes will have stuck together. You can repeat this building the tower taller and taller. The science is great – salt melts the ice slightly which will then refreeze when the next ice cube is put on top – and the competition is fun and will keep them engaged for ages, just be careful of falling towers of ice.
The same technique can be used to wow your children with a magic trick. Get a length of string, a glass of water, some salt and an ice cube. Task your child with working out how to pick up the ice cube using only the water, salt and string. To demonstrate the trick, dip the string in the water and lay it on top of the ice cube, add a little bit of salt on top and give it a moment. The salt will melt the surface of the ice cube, which will allow the string to sink into the ice cube slightly. The water will then refreeze, allowing you to pick up the ice cube with just a string. It’s a great trick to bring out at a family get together over the winter months.
There are lots of these sorts of experiments available on the internet that can keep you children entertained for hours whilst learning about important science that they see around them every day during the winter.
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Education | The lazy parent’s guide to good parenting
hile it’s lovely to have a break and enjoy some time with the family, how do we keep up the momentum for kids who are reluctant writers to keep their learning going over the break? We’ll talk through a few ideas here and hopefully give you some suggestions for fun and engaging activities which will help reinforce some learning and thinking skills.
Formal homework Try to get any formal homework out of the way as early as you can. If your child has literacy difficulties, getting it done will reduce their stress, as they won’t have to do ‘that writing from school’ as it’s already finished! You’ll find it easier too; you’ll not have a panicked, “I’ve forgotten my homework,” moment the night before they go back to school. You can use rewards to help motivate them or you can plan fun outings and meet-ups for when their work is completed; this should motivate the kids and help you to break days up at the start of the holiday. Once work is done, you can all relax.
Good old-fashioned party games A good game of Consequences can help even the most reluctant of writers to engage in making a daft story up. You can alter the difficulty and technicality depending on the age and ability of the players- young and old- to challenge them to add fronted adverbial sentences or a 7-word phase or to help them learn parts of the body. The fun is in the randomness of the answers and the giggles your family and friends can have as you unravel the paper and read the story out. All of this while writing things down using pen and paper! 12 | thelittlethingsmagazine.com
Anyone else feel like their kids loose brain cells daily over the holidays? Helen Ross, SEND specialist and all-round good egg, shares some ideas about how keep our kids brains working over the break.. Charades is a fantastic game which allows people of all abilities and ages to express themselves through logic, problem solving and creativity. Teamwork is an essential part of charades, as is turn-taking. This game reinforces many of the social skills that are expected in the classroom and playing it in the holidays will mean that your kids won’t find it as difficult readjusting into a larger group of people on their return to school in January. Taboo helps creative thinking and supports development of new vocabulary. It’s a game that can be played in different languages, about different topics and with any number of people. The key thing with this is that kids have the chance to speak, unpick new vocabulary and find different ways to explain concepts.
Sneaky Learning? All of these ideas rely on deeper thinking skills, significantly challenging players’ executive functions and, more importantly, they allow a group of friends and family to have fun. There are plenty of opportunities to keep learning happening in fun and engaging ways for all the family, and which will sneakily keep the kids in the learning zone over the holidays!
Christmas Grotto Come and meet Father Christmas and friends
10th December – until Christmas Eve | Milsom Place, Bath Book online superpirates.co.uk
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Feature | Travelling Light
Art attack Lisa Merryweather-Millard meets with the award-winning theatre group, Travelling Light, at the newly renovated Bristol Old Vic to talk about being a new parent, anticipation, disappointment and why art is so important for us all.
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rom the minute I walked into the Bristol Old Vic, I was reminded of the cultural heritage of the theatre. Established in 1766, the Old Vic is the longest continuously working theatre in the English-speaking world, surviving riots, financial decline, war and too many attempts to curtail the creative arts. At a time when music, art and drama are being removed from the school curriculum, it was a pleasure to speak with the people on the front lines fighting to keep art and theatre alive. In their promotional material for their Christmas show, IGLOO, is the strap line, ‘Sometimes you don’t get what you want, even when you’re made to wait’. This is what IGLOO is about, the excitement of anticipation and what happens when it’s not as good as you imagined it would be. As any new parent will tell you, it’s as relevant for parents in those first few months after having a child as it is for young children waiting for snow.
Travelling Light | Feature
Travelling Light theatre group are passionate about family theatre. For many in their audience, seeing a show like IGLOO is their first trip back to the theatre since having a child. Therefore, it needs to be entertaining and enjoyable for them as well as their babies and toddlers. Their opinion is if you entertain the parent, they will be more relaxed which will make their children more relaxed. For Travelling Light, this means being responsive to their audience. Before the show starts, there is time to relax and grab a tea or coffee. Once in the theatre space, there are few rules so there is no pressure for parents to keep young ones seated and quiet. It’s a space for ‘do’s’ and a place to feel accepted in a non-judgemental, theatre in the round where the kids are part of the action. As veterans of the stage with 34 years experience, Travelling Light do more than family theatre. They are the Armed Guards of the Arts, Crusaders of Creativity and Guardians of Cultural Experiences. They put themselves in the world of their audience - parent and child. They remind us of the metaphorical, the human condition,
of waiting and of disappointment. They remind us that the Arts are about more than a performance, exhibition or installation. They are the frontline of social and political change. They’re about reminiscing and dreaming, thinking and playing. As true artists, it’s clear that Travelling Light will stop at nothing to ensure future generations esteem the Arts. Even if that means devoting their lives to entertaining your children. IGLOO is a sensory experience filled with sights, sounds and texturised play, suitable for babes in arms and toddlers, accompanied by their carers. It’s showing at Bristol Old Vic from Saturday 8 December to Sunday 6 January. Visit the Bristol Old Vic website to book tickets to this and other performances. bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/igloo To find out more about Travelling Light, visit travellinglighttheatre.org.uk
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How to a teenager Written by author and founder of Rites for Girls, Kim McCabe
here’s not one right way to parent a child but we’re all trying to avoid the many wrong ways. Our children are certainly good at letting us know when we’re not getting it right for them. Their behaviour can sometimes be our best indicator for when it’s time to try something different. As we all know, if we keep doing what we always did, then we’ll keep getting what we always got. If you’re a parent trying to get it right, sometimes the best place to start is with our mistakes. But before you read this list, see if you can imagine yourself into the mindset of your child. As you read each one, tune in to how it may sound from your child’s perspective, get a sense of the feelings that may be triggered in your child and consider how it might seem from their point of view. 16 | thelittlethingsmagazine.com
Here’s a list of classic parenting mishaps. See how many you recognise: Never think back to when you were their age and how it felt Treat your adolescent as the lazy, sullen, directionless, moody, ungrateful person we know all teens to be Start their day by chiding them for being monosyllabic, disorganised and late in the mornings Hassle them while they’re in the bathroom taking too long If they’re rude, assume that they need you to point it out, so they’ll change their ways Buy sweet breakfast foods to kick-start their day with a zing Impress on them the importance of doing well in the test today Make them wear that waterproof coat they hate Text to tell them that you found their wet towel on the ﬂoor, again Give them money for sugary snacks to keep them going throughout the day The moment they walk in the door, give them chores to do and remind them not to leave their bag where they drop itX Suggest they do their homework straight away If you sense that something’s troubling them, sit them down and insist they tell you what it is If they ever start to tell you about something that’s upsetting them, interrupt with your own story to prove you know exactly what they’re talking about and offer them your wise adviceX If they’re worried about homework or exams, give them lots of tips for good technique When you’re worried about them, don’t talk to anyone else about it When their behaviour bothers you, blame them Tell them everything that they’re doing badly, so they know what to change Tell them again if they don't change Eat junk, never exercise, drink and stay up late yourself Never smile at them or show them any physical affection Never make time to be together outside your ordinary routine Never eat family meals together, insist everyone eats at different times, takes their food to their rooms or eats in front of a screenX If their behaviour gets on your nerves, tell them to stop issuu.com/thelittlethingsmagazine | 17
When they’re worried about something, tell them about some really big adult worries to put their problems into perspectiveX If they wear clothes you don’t like, ban them from leaving the house When you don’t like their friends, tell them what’s wrong with them Leave the wiﬁ on at night and let them take their phone to bed with them Finish their day with a bit of a grumble about everything they haven’t done that day
And, if you really want to mess them up, then tell them you can’t wait until they’re old enough to leave home. Any of these sound familiar? It’s quite a list, but by no means exhaustive. I’ve probably done all these things, except perhaps the last one. Parenting a teenager really can bring out the very worst in us. Under pressure, we all mess up. But that’s okay because parenting is
From Daughter to Woman
a process, so we get lots of chances to get it right, in a Groundhog Day kind of way. Teenagers are great people and you can have a terrific time parenting one! It can be a fulfilling time of increasing closeness, even as they move away. Teenagers are exciting, thought-provoking and vulnerable. They are at a wonderfully interesting stage of self-exploration and discovery, and I have an optimistic view of parents’ and teachers’ ability to guide them through this phase of their lives. These fickle and often exasperating young people really can transform into the visionaries and creators of the future. We are privileged to play a part in setting them on their path into that future. Kids’ behaviour usually tells us when they need a different kind of parenting from us. That’s when we need to call on outside support. Whether you find your support or guidance from other parents, books or the internet, parenting a teen is not a job to be done alone. Not if you’re going to do it well. Which you can. Kim McCabe is the author of ‘From Daughter to Woman, parenting girls safely through their teens’ published by Robinson. She is founder and director of Rites for Girls which, since 2011, has offered yearlong Girls Journeying Together groups, support for mothers and training for women wanting to support girls. Kim's vision is that every girl grows up expecting guidance as she matures and knowing that there’s a Girls Journeying Together group near to where she lives. www.ritesforgirls.com/book www.facebook.com/RitesForGirls www.facebook.com/fromdaughtertowoman www.instagram.com/ritesforgirls
Age ratings match-up
This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. The use of bad language in these games can be more extreme, while games of chance, and the use of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs can also be present.
Do you know what the age ratings on your children’s video games mean? Let’s see. Match the age rating descriptors The game should not contain to the age rating labels. To find out more about age ratings, content descriptors and reviews of games by those in the know, visit askaboutgames.com. To learn more about the pros and cons of gaming, strategies to manage gaming at home and the psychology of gaming join us, and our panel of professionals, on Thursday March 14th at Walcot House in Bath. See details below.
any sounds or pictures that are likely to frighten young children. A very mild form of violence (in a comical context or a childlike setting) is acceptable. No bad language should be heard.
This classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence, apparently motiveless killing, or violence towards defenceless characters. The glamorisation of the use of illegal drugs and explicit sexual activity should also fall into this age category.
Video games that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters would fall in this age category. Sexual innuendo or sexual posturing can be present, while any bad language in this category must be mild. Gambling as it is normally carried out in real life in casinos or gambling halls can also be present (e.g. card games that in real life would be played for money)
Game content with scenes or sounds that can possibly frightening to younger children should fall in this category. Very mild forms of violence (implied, non-detailed, or nonrealistic violence) are acceptable.
With an international panel of esteemed male and female games designers, games developers, columnists, innovators, psychotherapists, psychologists, gamers and parents, this promises to be an informative and entertaining evening. Jill Bendry, co-founder of My Box Clever.
THURSDAY MARCH 14 Walcot House, Bath, BA1 5BG
Join us for an entertaining evening of discussion and drinks as we explore the pros and cons of video games, their impact and parenting strategies.
Doors 6:30pm | Discussion 8:00pm–9:30pm with interval Open until 11:00pm For tickets, and more information, visit:
tickettailor.com/events/thelittlethingsmagazine Tickets limited to 100. Dinner tickets available.
Brought to you by My Box Clever | The Little Things Magazine | Walcot House
Answers for age ratings: 1|PEGI-16 2|PEGI-18 3|PEGI-3 4|PEGI-12 5|PEGI-7
Food | Quick breakfast
ornings are manic. The pressure is on to get where all your family members need to be on time, looking vaguely respectable with everything everyone needs for the day. Getting breakfast on the table during all this chaos is a challenge in itself and trying to ensure that breakfast is nutritious, as well as on the table, can often seem like one demand too many. There are, however, some simple ways to ensure 20 | thelittlethingsmagazine.com
that the food your family eats before they head out of the door holds some nutritional value. With a bit of forward planning and savvy shopping you can ensure that everyone heads out of the day having had a filling breakfast that will boost their health and fuel them through their busy days of learning and playing. Some of these recipes could be made with your kids, giving you a nice activity to do together over a weekend, It also means that they are far more likely to eat it, having been involved in the preparation.
Quick breakfast | Food
Cinnamon and nut granola Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30–40 minutes
Ingredients Makes one large batch (easily enough for one week)
300g nuts of your choice 300g seeds such as pumpkin and sunﬂower 240g oats (quinoa flakes can also be used) 200g milled ﬂax seed Handful of dried fruit of your choice 4 tbsp coconut oil 4 tbsp honey 2 tsp ground cinnamon
You could make a big batch of this with your children over the weekend, letting them chose the nuts, seeds and fruit combination. 1 Preheat your oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan. 2 In a bowl mix together the oats or quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds. 3 Melt the coconut oil and honey together in a small pan. 4 Add the cinnamon to the mixture then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. 5 Pour into a baking tin and place in the oven for 30–40 minutes until toasted throughout, but stir every 10 minutes to ensure evenly cooked. 6 Once the mixture is cooled mix in the dried fruit and store in an airtight container. 7 Serve as a topper for fruit and yoghurt, as shown in the recipe below Contains a great serving of healthy fats which are vital for slow-release energy.
Cheap and cheerful fruit crunch (made using the granola recipe above) Preparation: 2 + 2 minutes (plus overnight defrosting)
This recipe offers a cheap way to get your children eating a variety of fruit all year, and requires no time for fruit preparation.
Make’s one child’s portion (double for one adult portion)
A handful of frozen fruit of your choice Two tbsps full fat yoghurt (flavour of your choice) 13g granola from recipe above (or a shop-bought variety)
1 Place the fruit of your choice in a container or bowl the night before it is to be eaten. Cover and place in the fridge. 2 In the morning place the defrosted fruit in a serving bowl, spoon the yoghurt on top and sprinkle with the granola. This recipe ensures your children leave the house having a had a good serving of fruit to start their day. issuu.com/thelittlethingsmagazine | 21
Food | Quick breakfast
Quick and easy porridge
Chia breakfast pudding
Scrambled egg on toast
Preparation: 2 minutes the night before Cooking time: 3 minutes
Preparation: 10–15 minutes (plus overnight soaking)
Preparation: About as long as it takes to toast some bread
For two servings
Makes one child’s portion (use two eggs for an adult)
500ml milk of your choice 10 tbsp chia seeds 2 tbsp maple syrup 2 tbsp nut butter of your choice 2 tsp coconut oil (melted just before use) 2 tsp dried cinnamon powder
One egg Small knob of butter Dash of milk Pepper to taste 0.25 avocado (optional)
This breakfast favourite is often kept for weekends, but if you use a microwave it will take you no longer than it does to toast the bread, and therefore can be a weekday option too.
Ingredients Makes one child’s portion (double for one adult portion)
20g oats 125ml water or milk of your choice
You could get the kids to help you prepare this the night before you need it. 1 Place the oats and milk into a bowl and mix together. Cover and leave in the fridge over night. 2 Next morning place the mixture into a small saucepan and heat at a medium temperature for three minutes, stirring regularly. 3 Pour into a bowl and add your preferred topping. Topping ideas include berries, dried fruit, banana slices, nuts, seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or 0.5 tsp of honey or maple syrup. Perfectly warming for a cold, dark morning.
You could make these with your children the night before you wish to eat them, so that the next morning you simply have to get them out of the fridge and top with any fruit you wish to add. 1 Pour the milk into a bowl and add the maple syrup, nut butter, cinnamon and coconut oil. 2 Mix together. 3 Add the chia seeds and mix again. You could divide the mixture into small serving bowls at this stage, but you don’t have to. 4 Leave in the fridge overnight. 5 Eat on its own or topped with fruit. Why not prepare this is in a transportable container and eat it on the go!
1 Whisk the egg, milk, butter and pepper together, and microwave for about 90 seconds, beating every 30 seconds. 2 Meanwhile toast your bread and mash the avocado (if using). 3 Butter your toast and place the scrambled egg on top. 4 Top with the avocado and serve. Children need protein to help them grow, so ensuring they get a good serving at breakfast is a great way to ensure they get plenty each day.
Laura Hilton is a nutritionist, personal trainer and mum of three from Timsbury. For more healthy tips for busy parents search ‘Hilton Health’ on Facebook or ‘Hilton_Health’ on Instagram or visit the website: hiltonhealth.co.uk
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Feature | Bath Fashion Museum
Fit for a Queen Or at least fit for royalty. Bath Fashion Museumâ€™s Royal Women exhibition makes a great day out for your royal pains in the backside.
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Bath Fashion Museum | Feature
â€œClothes mean nothing until somone lives in them.â€? Marc Jacobs, fashion designer
side from spending time arguing with our own little princes and princesses about what to wear, this is the closest any of us are going to get to royalty. The Royal Women collection includes dresses worn by the wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of reigning monarchs. Each dress tells a story about the woman who wore it, and how they chose to represent themselves as a royal woman. The exhibition is included in general entry. Bath Fashion Musuem is open from 10:30am everyday, except 25th and 26th December, until 28th April 2019. fashionmuseum.com
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Health | Mental well-being
While judging others can make us feel a little better about ourselves, in the long run we end up judging ourselves more harshly too. Child Psychologist and founder of i know…, Dr Ronnie Roberts, explains why we shouldn’t be so hard on each other.
’m feeling invigorated and refreshed after my swim. I’m enjoying the heat of my shower when there’s an almighty scream. It reverberates around my cubicle, ruining my tranquillity, and my mood darkens. I hear a woman call out a weak apology for her son’s howling and another woman offering a platitude: “We all feel like that sometimes!” I grimace. ‘Yes, we might’ I think, ‘but we don’t all do it, do we? That child needs to learn to control himself, and his mother needs to learn how to control him!’ Then, the little urchin screams again. I have never heard a child quite so loud, and I can’t stop myself erupting: “THAT IS ENOUGH!!” I smile at the absolute silence that follows. There! It’s not that hard! Why on earth didn’t his mother do it for heaven’s sake?! This is just one of many stories I have told myself about the woman who screamed at my son as I wrestled with him in the shower after his swimming lesson. Hungry and tired, I had braced myself for the battle with him; but I hadn’t realised the main battle would be with another adult. For me, the judgement in her shout screamed almost as loudly as my son. With an echoing aftermath in my mind of: “You’re not doing it right! Control your child! What on earth are you doing? Can’t you even get him
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showered without a fuss?” She left me feeling small, exposed and totally vulnerable. And seemingly, this is one of the fundamental things about becoming a parent – that you suddenly become permanently and very overtly vulnerable to the judgment of others. There are so many different versions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ with parenting. Whatever you decide someone, somewhere will have an alternative or opposing view. And the stakes are high, right?! Get it wrong and you could be screwing up the little person/people whom you love most in the world. And what do we do to help ourselves feel like we’re doing it ‘right’? We judge others: “Oh well, at least my son doesn’t do that”, or, “Thank god, my daughter would never say that”, “When was the last time she washed her hair? At least I haven’t let myself go like that!” But Brené Brown, a social researcher into shame and vulnerability highlights, that whilst these little judgements might feel reassuring in the moment, long term they simply tighten the web of judgement around us too – so that the next time it’s our kid having a strop in the supermarket, we get judged in return. i know… aims to turn this cycle on its head by building upon the collective support between parents. It means that in those ‘moments’ that we all have as parents, instead of feeling small, alone and judged, we can look around and see other parents wearing a badge that says: ‘I know…I get it! You are not alone! Let me help if I can.” We can’t necessarily stop the judgy-pants from judging; but we can drown out their noise. So, join i know… the parent collective. You can wear an i know… badge as a sign of your support for other parents – whoever or wherever they are. Available at SEED, Hunting Raven, EllenBray Toys & Stationery and Liberty Gym in Frome. Like or follow our page to hear more about what we are up to and share your stories of when someone offered a smile, kind word or a helping hand that made a difference in your world as a parent. By celebrating these moments we will help them grow. www.facebook.com/iknowcollective
First Aid | Health
Would you know what to do if your child was choking? Louise Worsley of Worsley Training takes us through it step-by-step…
s the holiday season arrives, we look forward to crazy family fun, mad cap frolics and lots of great food. However, did you know that one of the most common first aid problems that parents of young children are faced with over the festive period is choking? Would you actually know what to do if your child choked on a sweet, some food or a small toy? Choking is life threatening as it can cause your child to stop breathing, so most importantly here’s what not to do if this ever happens to you. Don’t stick your finger in your child’s mouth to try to get the obstruction out unless you can see it clearly at the front of the mouth. If it is lodged in your child’s airway, then there simply will not be enough space for your finger to get past whatever it is to hook it out, so it will just get pushed further down.
So, what should you do? Firstly, try not to panic! Take deep breaths – staying calm is critical for both you and your child in any situation where you need to administer first aid. Then you need to force air from their lungs up the airway to force the blockage out – just like popping a cork out of an empty plastic bottle by squeezing it hard – by following the five basic steps opposite.
Encourage them to cough. If they can’t, give up to five firm slaps on their back between their shoulder blades. Babies and small children should be placed over your lap with their head pointing downwards as gravity will help. Check after each slap to see if the obstruction has cleared before doing another one. If step 2 fails to work, give up to five abdominal thrusts by wrapping your arms around them from behind, placing one fist on their tummy button and your other hand on top of it, and then pull in and up sharply. Check between each thrust to see if it has worked. (Give chest thrusts to a baby under one year old). Ask someone to call 999 and keep repeating the above sequence until it clears. If they lose consciousness, you will need to start CPR.
To feel really confident, it’s always best to attend a Paediatric First Aid course at least every three years to go through these techniques safely on plastic manikins – practice makes perfect! Finally, over this festive period remember to have fun and stay safe! Worsley Training offers short courses for parents, grandparents and babysitters throughout Wiltshire and the surrounding area. Get a small group together and Louise will come to your home and give you the confidence to be a life-saver: worsleytraining.co.uk/baby-and-child-first-aid-course
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Cut me out and keep me on the fridge
Real life | Fostering
In the wake of the 30 year old asylum seeker from Iran posing as a 15 year old school boy, The Little Things spent some time with Kate Farrar a social worker from Wiltshire County Council who works with unaccompanied minors who are seeking refuge. We asked the really ignorant questions to learn a bit more about where the real unaccompanied children are coming from, why they are risking their lives to be here and why we should care.
Q Why are they here? A Quite a few of the unaccompanied minors coming to Wiltshire are from Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Eritrea to name but a few. These are areas where there is civil conﬂict, war and genocide. Villages are being burned to the ground and children and young people are being caught up in conﬂict. Some of these children may never have known peace and will have grown up in conﬂict their whole lives. Others are trying to escape religious persecution, forced military conscription, being part of the wrong tribe or political group or are economic migrants.
Q Why can’t they stay in their own country? They have refugee camps there, right? A Those family members who survive
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war and persecution do try to seek shelter in the refugee camps. In the process of getting there, families and children can get separated from one another. Some children are even separated from their families on purpose by the local militia. Unaccompanied children are then subject to exploitation, manipulation and mistreatment in every way imaginable while on their journey to Europe in search of somewhere safe to be. They are sometimes trafficked for sex or as unpaid labour, beaten, raped and tortured. We have also heard from children who have witnessed rape, been forced into giving blood and trafficked into working in gold mines in Chad and working on scrap heaps in Libya. Getting to the UK, or any other country offering refuge, is not easy. After suffering the loss of their families, abuse,
maltreatment, exploitation they need to find, or earn, enough money to pay smugglers to take them to a country who will offer them asylum. The dangers of this are well-known and well-covered by the media: crowded boats, capsized boats, drowning. Assuming their smugglers have been honourable and that they have survived the journey, these young boys (girls don’t often make it – they are sold off into the slave or sex trade) often have to find other forms of transport to their final destinations. Currently, we work with children who have strapped themselves underneath lorries for hundreds of miles in order to cross borders. We also work with teenagers who have spent 15-20 hours in refrigerated lorries. Imagine how scared you’d have to be if strapping yourself underneath a lorry heading for the
Health | Fostering | Real life
motorway was the less frightening option than staying in your home country. These boys that we work with, some as young as 12, have risked everything. They don’t know where their families are or even if they are alive. Yet, they are grateful and kind and adaptive. And they are incredibly resilient.They often come from strong communities with good family attachments.
Q How long do you support them for? A We support them until they are 21 years old (as they are treated the same as a Child in Care) and support them through the asylum process. Sometimes their asylum application is refused by the Government, and therefore we would support them until all options to stay in the country have been exhausted. If they are successful in their application for asylum there are three possible outcomes: 1) Discretionary leave to remain until they are 17.5 years old, 2) leave to remain for 5 years or 3) They are not granted asylum and must leave the UK. If they are not granted asylum, they can choose Voluntary Return where they are given a sum of money and travel to help them return and re-establish themselves in their home country. Very few choose this option and instead appeal the decision where possible.
Q What happens when these children get here? A We currently have 50 unaccompanied children in Wiltshire between 15yrs and 18yrs old. We also work with another another 20 who are over 18. The children and young people are entitled to the same support as those in care in the UK. We help find them foster carers or help with supported lodgings for those who are over 16 years old. This is not straightforward or easy as we don’t have enough people who are currently willing to foster or offer lodgings for those who are 16+.
We also organise days out for them, activities and workshops to support them and teach them about things they may not have been taught in their home country such as sex education. They don’t always find it easy being here, and not just because they are without their families. On top of the abuse and hardship they will have suffered in their journey here, some of our accompanied children have been subject to racial abuse and bullying by people in the local community in which they are placed which inevitably retraumatises them. This is hard to hear, especially when you know everything they have already been through. There really is no justifiable reason for it.
Q Why should we help? A We all have a human responsibility. I’d like to think if my children were in this awful situation that there would be kind people in the world who would help them and take care of them.
Q How can we help? A There are lots of ways you can help. Support your local Refugee support group (find them through the internet). They raise money to support refugees, collect clothing and other items for individuals or families who are settling in the area. Rent out a spare room. If you have a spare room in your house, you can offer it to an unaccompanied young person over the age of 16. As the supported lodgings provider you get paid an allowance and the young person is a lodger. The young person gets given money to support themselves as well as social care support from a social worker and personal advisor. The provider gets their own supervising social worker and support. Become a foster carer. This is more of a commitment, but it can be incredibly rewarding. As a foster carer you will be paid a fostering allowance per week to care for an unaccompanied child. You are
assigned your own supervising social worker and receive training and are able to access to a monthly support group with other carers who are looking after unaccompanied minors. You don’t have to be married, and you don’t have to own your own house to foster or be a carer. A lot of these children have brothers and sisters themselves so get on really well with the foster carers own families. It’s quite a comfort for most of them.
Q I’d like to help, but I don’t want a 30 year man pretending to be 15 year old living in my spare room. How do I know this isn’t going to happen to me? A We do an initial interview and needs assessment. We check timelines and check stories to assess their age as much as possible. If they haven’t had any vaccinations we put them on accelerated immunisation programmes and we also do screenings for underlying health issues along with full medicals. We do everything we can to make sure we have accurate information and take care of them.
Q Anything else you’d like to add? A I know that fostering or offering up a room is a huge undertaking and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. There is a lot to consider. At the very least if we could all be a little more accepting of these children and young people because it would make their experience so much more positive. I could tell you awful stories that would make you weep, but I won’t because those are stories you can’t forget, ever. Hold your children tight and be thankful that they were born here and not in a country at war or political divide. And do what you can, no matter how small, to help those weren’t born so fortunate.
You can find more information on the Fostering Wiltshire website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/fostering
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Real life | Politics
Reclaiming politics By Peter Macfadyen
f Little Things is indeed for ‘people who happen to be parents’ then it’s all about politics. Because politics is all about activities, actions, discussions, lobbying, persuading and informing. In my view we’re all politicians, but something has gone terribly wrong. We’ve allowed the P word to be taken by professional Party Politicians. The problem with that is we’ve let them take the power. Somehow we’ve been persuaded that they know best. As parents I know you probably take most of the decisions for your children, especially when they are young. But I suspect most of you will be looking and listening to the impact of those decisions. Indeed, most of you will be actively asking questions, respecting the answers and acting on them. You won’t even be questioning most of the time, you’ll be responding. But as adults we’ve been completely fooled into thinking the people we elect as politicians have wisdom and should act on our behalf. In elections most votes are cast along political party lines – effectively saying ‘I don’t know who this person is, or what their skills or experience are, but I think the ideas from their Party match mine’. Only 2% of the population is a member of those parties. It’s a tiny number of people who decided what they stand for and a tiny number of people who they choose their candidates from – probably not you. Once elected, you hope these people will represent you and your views.
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I’d like to suggest that long ago when this was all invented, it kind of made sense to elect someone to represent you. They trotted off to Westminster (literally) and there was no real way to be in touch for four years, at which point they trotted back and asked you to re-elect them. But times have changed. Not only can you bang off innumerable emails to your representative, but you can inform yourself on all kinds of issues. Actually, you may well be better informed that they are – how can they possibly keep up with all there is to know? What makes sense is not ‘representative’ democracy – where they behave like the worst kind of parent, but ‘participatory democracy’ – where they facilitate the process of finding out what you actually want and use real experts to find how to do it.
What does this mean at a local level? Experience from around the country shows that if groups, like Independents for Frome, work together with a strong ethos, they can achieve much more than a nuisance of cats. The group in Frome set out how they, as individuals, would behave with each other - which is essentially all about listening and respect. They also said they would massively ramp up the levels of participation. This means things like making meetings friendly and accessible; handing more than a quarter of the income back to community groups; real consultations and running things like the People’s Budget so the community make real decisions. It’s an evolving process which hopefully will see more and more power for the people over the next few years and politics back where it should be.
Check out Frome Diary for the online skinny
rome Diary is your very own social diary – it’s THE place to find out about local events, classes, gigs, workshops, activities, exhibitions, talks, launches, markets, fixtures, community meetings, support groups, businesses specials and so much more. Did you see that event poster in the shop window too late to get tickets? Is the poster for your favourite band hidden under old posters on a community notice board? No more Frome FOMO. With over 250 events listed at any one time, Frome Diary makes sure you will never suffer with ‘fear of missing out’ again. Search events by category, by venue or by date. View the website as a poster board of current events or filter to list events on a particular day, over a week or over a month – just make sure you have the number of reliable babysitter on speed dial. It’s free to post your event on the site. We also promote your event on social media through Frome Diary Facebook and Twitter accounts or on Instagram you can follow the #whereinfrome hashtag. For those that really suffer from FOMO, you can sign up to our weekly newsletter, The Frome Buzz, via the Frome Diary website for a round up of the best Frome has to offer. fromediary.com fromediary fromediary fromediary From concept to creation, we can help with your branding and design needs. Send us an email to see how we can help. (And yes, of course we’ll buy the coffee. Afterall, we are Rather Nice.) email@example.com Rather Nice Design Limited Hubnub Centre, Whittox Lane, Frome, BA11 3BY www.rathernicedesign.com
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